Man versus machine

Tussle + Big Digits, P.A.'s Lounge, May 8, 2007
By DAVID DAY  |  May 16, 2007
inside_digitss
Big Digits

The flashing rave-like lights emitting from P.A.’s Lounge a week ago Tuesday were the first indication that this was not going to be a typical night at the alternative Somerville venue. Tussle, a punk-funk instrumental band from San Francisco, were in town on a 29-date US tour. So, by good fortune, was their friend Alison Childs, who used to light their shows back in California. The laser-like projections covered the entirety of the stage, and that suited openers the Big Digits just fine. Boston’s finest ravesploitation duo played their final show before heading out on their own tour (“We’re going to try and not go bankrupt, morally or otherwise,” joked Digit T.D. Sidell) to a crowd of about 35. With single drum in hand, the art-rap-dance act tore through their raucous opening set, and Mac Swell showed off his increasingly impressive MC skills.

The Digits’ ultra-basic set-up (drum/mic/laptop) made Tussle look like mad sound scientists. Moog keyboards, sequencers, Roland drum pads, a bass, and two full drumkits crammed P.A.’s tiny stage. Between acts, as the fans took in a few more drinks in the adjoining bar, Tussle could be heard outside having an argument about rhythm. Something about how one member refused to “count to four.” And right from the beginning of their set, something was off. Perhaps it’s part of their presentation (Tussle, right?), but the rhythm seemed to be getting pushed and pulled among the two live drummers, the bassist, and Nathan Burazer, the mustachioed beatmaker buried in a heap of electronics near the corner. As the set progressed, Childs’s visuals got more intense, and the band struggled to work out their differences of opinion. The mechanized beat of the machine eventually, or inevitably, won out over the sound — and the syncopation of the human spirit filled in the rest. Approaching the end of their set, the now-tight artpunks even had Mel the bartender next door shaking her rear end to the pervasive beat.

  Topics: Live Reviews , Entertainment, Music, Concerts and Tour Dates
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY DAVID DAY
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   DAY BY DAY BY DAY  |  September 18, 2007
    Two years ago, the Phoenix asked me to write a weekly column about Boston’s growing electronic music and DJ scene.
  •   THE DUFF CONNECTION  |  September 12, 2007
    “I really haven’t had to deal with any crazy paparazzi, since we usually keep a low profile and sneak in the back door of places.”
  •   BASSTOWN NIGHTS  |  September 12, 2007
    If 2006 was the year Boston germinated, 2007 is the year it grows up.
  •   PARTY PROS  |  September 06, 2007
    Weekend Warriors, or WKND WRYRZ, is the Sunday-night lounge party at ZuZu in Central Square.
  •   CITIZENS OF BASSTOWN  |  August 29, 2007
    The proliferation of dance parties in Boston has led not only to a rise in the number of DJs but also to a growth in the ranks of dancers.

 See all articles by: DAVID DAY